Paediatricians launch position paper to address inequities in child health

Published: Comments:
Australian Government Children Health & Wellness Lifestyle Political Queensland Government

Social:   

Doctors are urging decision-makers to take sustained action to connect Australia's children in adversity with specialist medical care and social and education services.

During the Royal Australasian College of Physicians' (RACP) 2018 Congress today, paediatricians Professor Sharon Goldfeld and Associate Professor Sue Woolfenden launched a new position paper, discussing ways to tackle inequities in child health.
 
"Children who experience health inequities don't have the same opportunities as their peers and they don't have fair access to health care," Professor Goldfeld explained.
 
"This could be due to social determinants such as socioeconomic status or geography that also limits access to healthcare and specialist services.
 
"We know disadvantage leads to poorer health, wellbeing and developmental outcomes that can have a lasting effect throughout people's lives. The lack of access to services only makes things worse.
 
"The research suggests that the first eight years of a child's life is critical. This is the time where we need to reach these disadvantaged populations and treat physical illness as well as learning, behavioural and developmental problems."

The Inequities in Child Health position paper focuses on ensuring all children receive the healthcare access that they need based on their circumstances.

The paper makes a number of recommendations for governments (Commonwealth and State and Territory) in Australia as well as New Zealand to improve health outcomes among families living in disadvantage.  

The RACP recommends:

  • Federal, State and Territory Governments commit to new investment in child health services that are universal and are prioritised according to patient needs.
  • Appointment of a national Chief Paediatrician to provide clinical leadership in strategy, policy and programs across paediatric healthcare in Australia.
  • The Federal Government report annually and transparently against the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare Children's Headline Indicators. The Prime Minister should be sharing these outcomes and keeping governments accountable for ensuring the health, development and wellbeing of all children.

Associate Professor Woolfenden said addressing inequities in child health care needs to be a collaborative effort between governments, health and social service providers and paediatricians.

"Parents can't do this alone," Associate Professor Woolfenden said. "As a community and as paediatricians, we have a responsibility to ensure these children have adequate access to child healthcare and support services.

"Governments and health services need to invest in services for children from disadvantaged environments and ensure these services are prioritised according to patient needs."
 
The Australian Early Development Census shows one in five children across Australia are experiencing developmental difficulties when they first start school. The gap between disadvantaged children and other children has also widened when it comes to physical health and social competence.
 
View the 'Inequities in Child Health position paper' here.  

 
The Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) :
145 Macquarie Street, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia Wide
02 9256 5444
1300 69 7227
The Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP)
Showing 8 recent articles for this business
Paediatricians launch position paper to address inequities in child health 14 May 2018 | Doctors are urging decision-makers to take sustained action to connect Australia's children in adversity with specialist medical care and social and education services. More information...
Creating sustainable healthcare for the future 14 May 2018 | If we're going to make big changes to how hospitals are run and how patients access services, considering the predicted changes in climate, there needs to be major changes in the way healthcare is delivered. ... More information...
Drug testing trial will hurt, not help Australians on welfare 23 April 2018 | Addiction medicine specialists have criticised the Turnbull Government's proposal to drug test up to 5,000 new welfare recipients. More information...
Doctors warn against unnecessary CT scans in children presenting with new onset seizures 16 April 2018 | New medical advice is recommending doctors avoid Computed Tomography (CT) scans when evaluating children and adolescents who present with their first seizure. More information...
Specialists push for investment to improve the health of Australian children 12 February 2018 | Access to child health care should be fair for all Australian children and funding for disadvantaged groups must be prioritised in the 2018-19 Federal Budget, the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP)... More information...
Plans to drug test welfare recipients rejected 07 December 2017 | Doctors and addiction experts welcome the news that the Federal Government will no longer proceed with its plan to randomly drug testing 5,000 social welfare recipients as part of its Social Services Legislation... More information...
Doctors message to Parliamentarians – deliver marriage equality without delay 15 November 2017 | Doctors from the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) have welcomed the result of the Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey, showing the majority of Australian voters support marriage equality. More information...
Physicians welcome additional Commonwealth funding for codeine upscheduling 27 October 2017 | The Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) welcomes the Federal Government's commitment of an additional $1 million to support the move to making codeine medicines prescription-only from 1 February... More information...



Social:   
comments powered by Disqus

All articles submitted by third parties or written by My Sunshine Coast come under our Disclaimer / Terms of Service